International Writers Magazine: Underwhelmed
STARS FOR THE ECLIPSE
weathercaster called it a "must-see light and shadow show
by the Old Master Himself," but I cant say this last
solar eclipse was worthy of the recommendation. Not even total,
and staged (in my location anyway) behind a thick cloud cover
that served only to diffuse the vivid contrasts essential to any
dramatic effect, the "Old Master" might have been emailing
it in from deep space somewhere for all the incandescence it could
Quite frankly, as
light shows go, I thought more interesting work was being done at the
Electric Circus back in the '60s.
Now lets please not have any misunderstandings. Im aware
that Im criticizing the performance of a venerable figure who,
over the eons and in every conceivable form and category, has compiled
an impressive oeuvre. If I have to confess that a lot of His stuff is
not to my taste, that I find much of it heavy-handed or impenetrable
(when, indeed, it is not distracted and slack), this doesnt mean
Ive failed to recognize the enormous contribution Hes made.
Im thinking, of course, of the models some of His stunning manipulations
of the more volatile natural elements provided for the Irwin Allen disaster
films. And, to be sure, theres His introduction of death itself
which, brilliantly counterbalancing His earlier invention of genders
and sex, forestalled the unwieldy prospect of twenty-thousand expansion
teams in just the American League East (and, say, the 2006 playoffs
extending well into the 2018 season). But thats hardly been the
limit of this remarkable innovations reach and impact. In its
absence, "Scream 2," which everyone agrees was even better
than "Scream," would doubtless have languished in perpetual
turnaround since filmgoers would have found the emotions of fear and
panic depicted in the original much too weird and elusive for a sequel
to ever be greenlighted.
Whats more, we can be reasonably certain that the popular denouement
of the "happy ending"the product of an inevitable backlashwould
never have been developed.
So while its often, for me, like feeling obliged to respect whatever
that was that Marcel Marceau used to do, even as you knew that one more
minute of it and your lungs were going to erupt with blood, Im
more than prepared to honor the "Old Masters" achievements.
Its just that Im not what youd call a huge fan. What
puts me off most is...well...its His LORDLY attitude. I could
forgive Him a lotyes, even those tedious revivals of His wind-and-water
specials that take out half a statewere He less disdainful of
His audience, less willfully opaque and ambiguous. I know this "mysterious
ways" thing is a cornerstone of His persona and I can understand
His reluctance to give it up. But, bordering on the pathological, His
aversion to making His meanings known is wearing a little thin, dont
Ill allow that, however disappointing it may be, its ultimately
of small consequence when He mounts a shoddy eclipse. But its
something else again when, for one especially egregious example, He
leaves you to blow out all your circuits trying to figure just where
Hannity and Colmes fit into the notion that if youre on the planet,
its for a reason.
© RL April 3 2006
You Are Still Fat
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